Friday, January 31, 2014

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am a sucker for pictures of food. Not that they make me want to eat (though sometimes they do) mostly I just find them simple and beautiful. This Christmas I received a few cookbooks filled with beautiful photos. Until this last week, I had perused them many times, but had yet to try out a recipe from their pages.

While I was tempted to try one of the croissant doughs from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook, I wanted to start with something simple. You can tell a lot about a bakery by trying one of their more simple items. There is a fair amount of hype associated with Bouchon so trying their chocolate chunk cookie recipe seemed like a good way to see if that hype was deserved.

Just so you know, it is.

These cookies were devoured in about twenty-four hours.

This cookbook gives the home baker the option to use standard measuring cups or a scale. I chose the scale route.

These cookies are nothing crazy... just cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, add eggs a dash of vanilla then sift in your flour, salt and baking soda. Oh yea and a whole mess of chocolate chunks.

In this recipe, after chopping up a few bittersweet chocolate bars, the chunks are sifted. This removes the chocolate pieces/dust that can make your dough appear "clouded" or discolored. I love using chopped chocolate in cookies but I always just threw it all in the bowl, resulting in cookies that looked a little funky. I will always choose a funky looking cookie over no cookie, so I never really minded. But at least now I know how Thomas Keller keeps his cookies looking so crisp.

Chill the chocolate studded dough for about thirty minutes then scoop away.

 I will be honest, looking at this picture makes me sad that I am out of cookies.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes 1 1/2 dozen
adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

1 1/2 c + 3 Tablespoons (238g) AP flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.3 g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
1/2 c + 3 Tablespoons (140g) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 c + 2 Tablespoons (104g) granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 yolk (60g)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5.9 oz (167g) butter, softened
about 1 1/4 c (215g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped and sifted to remove fine dust
- - -
1. In a medium bow, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is smooth and the consistency of mayonnaise 
3. Add sugars and mix for about 3 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary
4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix for 10-15 seconds (just to distribute them fairly evenly... the mixture may appear broken, that's OK)
5. Add dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed until just combined
6. Add chopped chocolate and mix on low until evenly dispersed (only about 5 seconds)
7. Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes
8. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F
9. Divide dough into 18 portions (if you are weighing them, about 75g each) and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet
10. Bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes, the edges will be just browning and the middles will appear gooey but will set as the cookies cool

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